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Of  Lionel  Johnson         ...         ...          ...         ...         ...         7 

Winchester          ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  25 

Chalkhil! 32 

Oxford     ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...          ...         ...         ...  32 

The  Classics       36 

Walter  Pater      ...          ...          ...          ...         ...          ...         39 

Cromwell            ...         ...         ...          ...          ...         ...         ...         ...  42 

To  Morfydd        45 

Cadgwith           ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  47 

By  the  Statue  of  King  Charles  at  Charing  Cross     ...         ...         ...  48 

Glories 51 

In  Fahnoiith  Plarbour 52 

Magic      ...         ...         ...         .,.         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  54 

To  the  Dead  of  98       56 

To  a  Spanish  Friend     ...         ..,          ...         ...          ...          ...         ...  58 

Brothers...         ...          ...         ...         ...         ...          ...           ,.         .  .  61 

A  Friend 63 

Ash  Wednesday             ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  64 

To  a  Friend        65 

The  Age  of  a  Dream 66 

The  Precept  of  Silence 67 

The  Dark  Angel           68 

Lucretius            ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         •••         ...  71 

Harvest...           72 

A  Stranger 74 

Winchester  Close          76 

In  Memory  of  M.  B 77 

A  Proselyte        79 


AN  early  death  has  lately  robbed  the  world  of 
letters  in  England  of  its  one  critic  of  the  first 
rank  in  this  generation.  Poet-minds  of  the 
Arnold  breed,  with  what  may  be  called  the  hush 
of  scholarship  laid  upon  their  full  energies  and 
animations,  must  necessarily  grow  rarer  and 
rarer,  in  a  world  ever  more  noisy  and  more 
superficial.  They  cannot  expect  now  the  foster- 
ing cloistral  conditions  which  were  finally  dis- 
turbed by  the  great  Revolution.  Yet  they  still 
find  themselves  here,  in  a  state  of  royal  dis- 
possession, and  live  on  as  they  can.  Of  these 
was  Lionel  Johnson.  In  criticism,  though  he 
seemed  to  care  so  little  about  acknowledging, 
preserving,  and  collecting  what  he  wrote,  he 
was  nobly  able  to  "beat  his  music  out;"  his 
potential  success  lay  there,  perhaps,  rather  than 
in  the  exercise  of  his  singularly  lovely  and 

austere  poetic  gift.  But  this  is  not  saying  that 
he  was  more  critic  than  poet.  On  the  contrary, 
he  was  all  poet ;  and  the  application  of  the 
poet's  touchstone  to  human  affairs,  whether  in 
art  or  in  ethics,  was  the  very  thing  which  gave 
its  extraordinary  elasticity  and  balance  to  his 
prose  work.  Being  what  he  was,  a  selfless 
intelligence,  to  him  right  judgments  came  easy, 
and  to  set  them  down,  at  the  eligible  moment, 
was  mere  play.  He  had  lived  more  or  less 
alone  from  his  boyhood,  but  alone  with  eternal 
thoughts  and  classic  books.  Whenever  he 
spoke,  there  was  authority  in  the  speech  col- 
oured by  companionship  with  the  great  of  his 
own  election  :  with  Plato  ;  Lucretius  and  Vir- 
gil ;  Augustine  ;  Shakespeare.  His  capacity 
for  admiration  was  immense,  although  in  his 
choice  of  things  admirable  he  was  quite 
uncompromising.  Beyond  that  beautiful  in- 
ward exaction,  "  the  chastity  of  honour,"  he 
was  naturally  inclined  to  the  charities  of  in- 
terpretation. He  gave  them,  but  he  asked 
them  not,  and  would  not  thank  you  for  your 
casual  approval,  except  by  his  all-understanding 
smile.  Neither  vanity,  ambition,  nor  envy  ever 
so  much  as  breathed  upon  him,  and,  scholar 
that  he  was,  he  had  none  of  the  limitations 

common  to  scholars,  for  he  was  without  fear 
and  without  prejudice. 

A  striking  feature  in  the  make-up  of  his 
mind  was  its  interplay  and  counterpoise  of  con- 
trasts. Full  of  worship  and  wonder  (and  a 
certain  devout  sense  of  indebtedness  kept  him, 
as  by  a  strict  rubric  of  his  own,  an  allusive  and 
a  quoting  writer),  he  was  also  full  of  an  almost 
fierce  uninfluenced  independence.  Not  wholly 
blest  is  the  poet  who  has  historic  knowledge 
of  his  own  craft ;  for  to  him  nothing  is  sayable 
which  has  already  been  well  said.  Lionel 
Johnson,  even  as  a  beginner,  was  of  so  jealous 
an  integrity  that  his  youthful  numbers  are  in 
their  detail  rather  scandalously  free  from  par- 
cntalia.  Yet  by  some  supernatural  little  joke, 
his  most  famous  line, — 

"  Lonely  unto  the  Lone  I  go," 

had  been  anticipated  by  Plotinus.  With  a 
great  vocabulary,  his  game  was  always  to  pack 
close,  and  thin  out,  his  words.  Impersonal  as 
Pan's  pipe  to  the  audience  of  The  Anti-Jacobin 
or  The  Academy,  he  became  intensely  subjective 
the  moment  he  reached  his  fatherland  of  poesy. 
His  utterance,  as  daring  in  its  opposite  way  as 
Mr.  John  Davidson's,  has  laid  bare  some  of 

the  deepest  secrets  of  the  spirit.  And  side  by 
side  with  them  lie  etched  on  the  page  the  most 
delicate  little  landscapes,  each  as  happily  con- 
ceived as  if  "the  inner  eye"  and  "the  eye  on 
the  object,"  of  both  of  which  Wordsworth 
speaks,  were  one  and  the  same. 

One  might  have  thought,  misled  by  Lionel 
Johnson's  strongly  philosophic  fibre,  his  habits 
of  a  recluse  simplicity,  his  faith  in  minorities, 
his  patrician  old-fashioned  tastes,  that  he  would 
have  ranged  himself  with  the  abstract  critics, 
with  Joubert  and  Vauvenargues,  rather  than 
with  Sainte-Beuve.  But  it  was  another  of  his 
surprising  excellencies  that  he  was  never  out 
of  tune  with  cosmic  externals,  and  the  aspira- 
tions of  to-day.  Into  these  his  brain  had  a  sort 
of  detached  angelic  insight.  His  earliest  book, 
written  while  he  was  very  young,  was  not  about 
some  subtlety  of  Attic  thought:  it  was  a  masterly 
exposition  of  The  Art  of  Thomas  Hardy.  This 
same  relevance  and  relativity  of  our  friend,  this 
open  dealing  with  the  nearest  interest,  was  his 
strength  ;  he  not  only  did  not  shrink  from  con- 
temporary life,  but  bathed  in  the  apprehension 
of  it  as  joyously  as  in  a  mountain  stream.  How 
significant,  how  full  of  fresh  force,  have  been 
his  many  unsigned  reviews  i  Nothing  so  broad, 


so  sure,  so  penetrating,  has  been  said,  in  little, 
of  such  very  modern  men  as  Renan  and  William 

It  is  perhaps  less  than  exact  to  claim  that 
Lionel  Johnson  had  no  prejudices.  All  his 
humilities  and  tolerances  did  not  hinder  his 
humorous  depreciation  of  the  Teutonic  in- 
tellect ;  and  he  liked  well  King  Charles  Il.'s 
word  for  it  :  "  foggy."  Heine,  that  "  Parisian- 
ized  Jew,"  was  his  only  love  made  in  Germany. 
Non-scientific,  anti-mathematical,  he  was  a 
genuine  Oxonian  ;  a  recruit,  as  it  were,  for 
transcendentalism  and  the  White  Rose.  His 
studies  were  willful  and  concentrated  ;  he  never 
tried  to  get  a  thorough  understanding  of  some 
arts  which  he  relished,  music  and  sculpture,  for 
instance  ;  and,  discursive  as  his  national  sym- 
pathies certainly  were,  he  was  never  out  of  the 
British  Isles.  In  all  such  lateral  matters,  he 
saw  the  uses  of  exclusion,  of  repression,  if  his 
calling  was  to  be  not  a  dilettante  impulse,  but 
the  sustained  and  unwasted  passion  of  a  lifetime. 
Culture  in  him,  it  is  true  to  say,  was  not  mis- 
cellaneous information  ;  as  in  Newman's  perfect 
definition,  it  was  "the  command  over  his  own 
faculties,  and  the  instinctive  just  estimate  of 
things  as  they  pass."  He  had  an  amazing  and 


most  accurate  memory  for  everything  worth 
while  :  it  was  as  if  he  had  moved,  to  some  pro- 
fit, in  several  ages,  and  forgotten  none  of  their 
"  wild  and  noble  sights."  And  the  powers  which 
were  so  delighting  to  others,  were,  in  a  reflex 
way,  a  most  single-hearted  and  modest  way, 
sheer  delight  to  the  one  who  had  tamed  them 
to  his  hand. 

His  non-professorial  conception  of  the  func- 
tion of  a  man  of  letters  (only  it  was  one  of  the 
thousand  subjects  on  which  he  was  sparing  of 
speech,  perhaps  deterred  by  the  insincerities  all 
about  him)  amounted  to  this  :  that  he  was  glad 
to  be  a  bond-slave  to  his  own  discipline  ;  that 
there  should  be  no  limit  to  the  constraints  and 
the  labour  self-imposed  ;  that  in  pursuit  of  the 
best,  he  would  never  count  cost,  never  lower  a 
pennon,  never  bow  the  knee  to  Baal.  It  was 
not  his  isolated  position,  nor  his  exemption 
from  the  corroding  breath  of  poverty,  which 
made  it  easy  for  such  an  one  to  hold  his  ground; 
for  nothing  can  make  easy  that  strenuous  and 
entire  consecration  of  a  soul  to  what  it  is  given 
to  do.  It  extended  to  the  utmost  detail  of 
composition.  The  proud  melancholy  charm  of 
his  finest  stanzas  rests  upon  the  severest  ad- 
herence to  the  laws  and  by-laws  of  rhythm  ;  in 


no  page  of  his  was  there  ever  a  rhetorical  trick 
or  an  underbred  rhyme.  Excess  and  show 
were  foreign  to  him.  Here  was  a  poet  who 
liked  the  campaign  better  than  Capua.  He 
sought  out  voluntarily  never,  indeed,  the  fan- 
tastic, but  the  difficult  way.  If  he  could  but 
work  out  his  idea  in  music,  he  preferred  to  do 
so  with  divers  painstakings  which  less  scru- 
pulous vassals  of  the  Muse  would  as  soon 
practice  as  fasting  and  praying.  To  one  who 
looks  well  into  the  structure  of  his  poems,  they 
are  like  the  roof  of  Milan  Cathedral,  "gone  to 
seed  with  pinnacles,"  full  of  voweled  surprises 
and  exquisitely  devotional  elaborations,  given 
in  the  zest  of  service,  and  meant  either  to  be 
searched  for  or  else  hidden.  Yet  they  have 
the  grace  to  appear  much  simpler  than  they  are. 
The  groundwork,  at  least,  is  always  simple  : 
his  usual  metre  is  iambic  or  trochaic,  and  the 
English  alexandrine  he  made  his  own.  The 
shortcoming  of  his  verse  lies  in  its  Latin  strict- 
ness and  asceticism,  somewhat  repellent  to  any 
readers  but  those  of  his  own  temper.  Its 
emotional  glow  is  a  shade  too  moral,  and  it  is 
only  after  a  league  of  stately  pacing  that  fancy 
is  let  go  with  a  looser  rein. 

Precision  clung  like  drapery  to  everything  he 


did.  His  handwriting  was  unique;  a  slender, 
close  slant,  very  odd,  but  not  illegible  ;  a  true 
script  of  the  old  time,  without  a  flaw.  It  seemed 
to  whisper  :  "  Behold  in  me  the  inveterate  foe  of 
haste  and  discourtesy,  of  typewriters,  telegrams, 
and  secretaries ! "  As  he  wrote,  he  punctuated :  no- 
thing was  trivial  to  this  "  enamoured  architect  " 
of  perfection.  He  cultivated  a  half-mischievous 
attachment  to  certain  antique  forms  of  spelling, 
and  to  the  colon,  which  our  slovenly  press  will 
have  none  of;  and  because  the  colon  stands 
for  fine  differentiations  and  sly  sequences,  he 
delighted  especially  to  employ  it. 

Lionel  Johnson's  gallant  thoroughness  was 
applied  not  only  to  the  department  of  literature. 
He  had  a  loving  heart,  and  laid  upon  himself 
the  burden  of  many  gratitudes.  To  Win- 
chester, his  old  school,  and  Oxford,  his  uni- 
versity (in  both  of  which  he  covered  himself, 
as  it  happened,  with  honours),  he  was  a 
bounden  knight.  The  Catholic  Church,  to 
which  he  felt  an  attraction  from  infancy,  and 
which  he  entered  soon  after  he  came  of  age, 
could  command  his  whole  zeal  and  furtherance, 
to  the  end.  His  faith  was  his  treasure,  and  an 
abiding  peace  and  compensation.  The  delicacy, 
nay,  the  sanctity  of  his  character,  was  the  out- 


come  of  it  ;  and  when  clouds  did  not  impede 
his  action,  it  so  pervaded,  guided,  and  adjusted 
his  whole  attitude  towards  life  (as  Catholicism 
alone  claims  and  intends  to  do),  that  his  re- 
ligiousness can  hardly  be  spoken  of,  or  ex- 
amined, as  a  thing  separate  from  himself. 
There  was  a  seal  upon  him  as  of  something 
priestly  and  monastic.  His  place,  like  his 
favourite  Hawthorne's,  should  have  been  in  a 
Benedictine  scriptorium,  far  away,  and  long  ago. 

"  Us  the  sad  world  rings  round 

With  passionate  flames  impure  ; 
We  tread  an  impious  ground  ; 
We  hunger,  and  endure." 

But  he  would  be  "  at  rest  with  ancient  victors," 
and  ''with  you  imparadised,  White  angels 
around  Christ!"  The  saints,  bright  from  their 
earthly  battle,  and  especially  the  angels,  in 
Heaven  their  commonweal,  were  always  pre- 
sent to  the  imagination  of  this  aniina  natura- 
liier  Christiana. 

Again,  his  most  conscious  loyalty,  with  the 
glamour  of  mediaeval  chivalry  upon  it,  was  for 
Ireland.  He  was  descended  from  a  line  of 
soldiers,  and  from  the  baronet  of  his  name  who, 
in  the  ruthless  governmental  fashion  of  the 
time,  put  down  at  New  Ross  the  tragic  in- 


surrectlon  of  1 798.  Study  and  sympathy  brought 
his  great-grandson  to  see  things  from  a  point 
of  view  not  in  the  least  ancestral  ;  and  the  con- 
sequence was  that  Lionel  Johnson  came  to 
write,  (and  even  to  lecture !)  as  the  heart-whole 
champion  of  hapless  Inisfail.  In  the  acknow- 
ledged spirit  of  reparation,  he  gave  his  thought, 
his  time,  and  his  purse  to  her  interests.  He 
devoted  his  lyre  to  her,  as  his  most  moving- 
theme,  and  he  pondered  not  so  much  her 
political  hope,  nor  the  charm  of  her  streams  and 
valleys,  as  her  constancy  under  sorrows,  and 
the  holiness  of  her  mystical  ideal.  His  in- 
heritance was  goodly  unto  him,  for  he  had  by 
race  both  the  Gaelic  and  the  Cymric  strain,  and 
his  temperament,  with  its  remoteness,  and  its 
sage  and  sweet  ironies,  was  by  so  much  more 
and  less  than  English.  But  he  possessed  also, 
in  very  full  measure,  the  basic  English  traits  : 
deliberation,  patience,  and  control.  It  was 
owing  to  these  unexpected  and  saving  qualities 
in  him  that  he  turned  out  no  mere  visionary, 
but  made  his  mark  in  life  like  a  man,  and  that 
he  held  out  for  five  and  thirty  years  in  that 
fragile,  terribly  nervous  body  always  so  in- 
adequate and  perilous  a  mate  for  his  giant 


Next  to  the  impersonal  allegiances  which  had 
so  much  claim  upon  him  was  his  feeling  for  his 
friends.  The  boy  Lionel  had  been  the  ex- 
ceptional sort  of  boy  who  can  discern  a  possible 
halo  about  a  master  or  a  tutor ;  and  at  Oxford, 
as  at  Winchester,  he  found  men  worth  his 
homage.  The  very  last  poem  he  sent  forth 
was  a  threnody  for  his  dear  and  honoured  Walter 
Pater,  honoured  and  dear  long  after  death,  as 
during  life.  Like  so  much  else  from  the  same 
pen,  it  is  of  synthetic  and  illuminating  beauty, 
and  it  ends  with  the  tenderest  of  lyrical  cries  : — 

"  Gracious  God  keep  him  :  and  God  grant  to  me 

By  miracle  to  see 

That  unforgettably  most  gracious  friend, 
In  the  never-ending  end  !  " 

Friendship,  with  Lionel  Johnson,  was  the  grave, 
high  romantic  sentiment  of  antique  tradition. 
He  liked  to  link  familiar  names  with  his  own  by 
means  of  little  dedications,  and  the  two  volumes 
of  his  poems,  with  their  placid  blue  covers  and 
dignity  of  margin,  furnish  a  fairly  full  roll-call 
of  those  with  whom  he  felt  himself  allied : 
English,  Irish,  Welsh,  and  American  ;  men  and 
women  ;  famous  and  unknown  ;  Christian  and 
pagan  ;  clerical  and  lay.  It  was  characteristic 
of  him  that  he  addressed  but  one  or  two  poems 


directly  to  a  friend,  but  set  apart  this  or  that,  in 
print,  as  private  to  one  or  another  whose  heart, 
he  knew,  would  go  along  with  it.  As  a  proof 
of  the  shyness  and  reticence  of  his  affections,  it 
may  be  added  that  some  who  were  fond  of  him 
did  not  discover,  for  years  after  (and  perhaps 
some  have  not  yet  discovered),  the  page  bearing 
their  own  names,  once  quietly  left  to  them 
in  most  loyal  remembrance,  by  the  hand 
which  towards  the  last  answered  few  letters, 
and  withdrew  more  and  more  from  social  con- 

Alas,  this  brings  us  upon  sad  ground.  We 
all  first  began  to  be  conscious  of  losing  him 
about  1899,  when  he  shut  himself  up,  and  kept 
obstinate  silence,  for  weeks  and  months,  in  the 
cloistral  London  nooks  where  he  and  his  library 
successively  abode.  Then,  not  quite  two  years 
later,  began  a  painful  and  prolonged  illness,  in 
the  course  of  which  his  hands  and  feet  became 
temporarily  crippled;  and  for  the  ardent  lover,  in 
any  weather,  of  the  open  countryside,  arrived  a 
dark  twelvemonth  of  indoor  inaction.  It  is  to 
be  feared  he  was  not  properly  nursed  ;  he  had 
never  known  how  to  care  for  himself,  and  had 
lived  as  heedless  of  the  flesh  as  if  he  were  all 
wings.  It  seemed  ungenerous,  that  instinct  to 


go  into  the  dark  at  times,  wholly  away  from 
wonted  intercourse.  Yet  it  was  neither  un- 
generous nor  perverse.  Surging  up  the  more 
as  his  bodily  resources  failed  him,  a  "  mortal 
moral  strife  "  had  to  be  undergone  :  the  fight 
in  which  there  can  be  no  comrades.  The 
brave  will  in  him  fought  long  and  fought  hard  : 
no  victor  could  do  more.  He  had  apparently 
recovered  his  health  after  all  the  solitude  and 
mental  weariness,  and  had  just  expressed  him- 
self as  "greedy  for  work,"  when  he  went  out 
from  his  chambers  in  Clifford's  Inn,  late  on  the 
night  of  the  2Qth  of  September,  for  the  last  of 
his  many  enchanted  walks  alone  :  for  with 
Hazlitt  and  Stevenson,  this  walker  held  that 
any  walk  is  the  richer  for  being  companionless. 
He  had  a  fall,  and  was  picked  up  unconscious 
and  carried  to  St.  Bartholomew's  Hospital. 
And  there  he  lay,  with  his  skull  fractured  (a 
child's  skull  it  was,  abnormally  thin,  as  the 
doctors  found),  recognised  and  tended,  but 
always  asleep,  for  four  days  and  five  nights  ; 
and  then  the  little  flickering  candle  went  quietly 
out.  In  the  bitter  pathos  of  his  end  he  was  not 
with  Keats,  but  with  Poe.  It  was  the  4th  of 
October,  1902,  a  Saturday  of  misted  autumn 
sunshine,  sacred  in  the  ecclesiastical  calendar  to 


the  Poverello  of  Assisi.     Of  that  blessed  fore- 
runner his  dead  poet  had  once  written  :— 

"  Thy  love  loved  all  things,  thy  love  knew  no  stay, 
But  drew  the  very  wild  beasts  round  thy  knee. 
O  lover  of  the  least  and  lowest!  pray, 

Saint  Francis,  to  the  Son  of  Man,  for  me." 

The  only  other  Englishman  of  letters  so 
elfin-small  and  light  was  De  Quincey.  Few 
persons  could  readily  be  got  to  believe  Lionel 
Johnson's  actual  age.  With  his  smooth  hair 
and  cheek,  he  passed  for  a  slim  undergrown 
boy  of  sixteen  ;  his  light-footed  marches,  in 
bygone  summers,  over  the  Welsh  hills  and  the 
coasts  of  Dorset  and  Cornwall,  were  interrupted 
at  every  inn  by  the  ubiquitous  motherly  land- 
lady, expostulating  with  him  for  his  supposed 
truancy.  His  extreme  sense  of  humour  forbade 
annoyance  over  the  episode  ;  rather  was  it  not 
unwelcome  to  one  who  had  no  hold  on  time, 
and  was  as  elemental  as  foam  or  air.  Yes,  he 
lived  and  died  young.  It  was  not  only  simple 
country  folk  who  missed  in  him  the  adult 
"  note."  And  yet  a  certain  quaint  and  cour- 
ageous pensiveness  of  aspect  and  outlook ;  a 
hint  of  power  in  the  fine  brow,  the  sensitive 
hands,  the  gray  eye  so  quick,  and  yet  so 
chastened  and  incurious,  could  neither  escape  a 


true  palaeographer,  nor  be  misconstrued  by  him. 
Lionel  Johnson  must  have  been  at  all  times 
both  a  man  and  a  child.  At  ten  years  old,  or 
at  the  impossible  sixty,  he  must  equally  have 
gone  on,  in  a  sort  of  beautiful  vital  stubborn- 
ness, being  a  unit,  being  himself.  His  manners, 
as  well  as  his  mental  habits,  lasted  him  through- 
out ;  from  the  first  he  was  a  sweet  gentleman 
and  a  sound  thinker.  His  earliest  and  his 
latest  poems,  in  kind  altogether,  and  largely  in 
degree,  were  of  a  piece.  A  paper  produced  at 
Winchester  School,  on  Shakespeare's  Fools,  is 
as  unmistakably  his  as  his  final  review  of 
Tennyson.  To  put  it  rather  roughly,  he  had 
no  discarded  gods,  and  therefore  no  periods  of 
growth.  He  was  a  crystal,  a  day-lily,  shown 
without  tedious  processes.  In  his  own  phrase, — 

"  All  that  he  came  to  give 
He  gave,  and  went  again." 

He  had  a  homeless  genius  :  it  lacked  affinity 
with  the  planetary  influences  under  which  he 
found  himself  here,  being  as  Sir  Thomas 
Browne  grandly  says,  "older  than  the  elements, 
and  owino'  no  homage  unto  the  sun."  He 
seemed  ever  the  same  because  he  was  so. 
Only  intense  natures  have  this  continuity  of 
look  and  mood. 


With  all  his  deference,  his  dominant  com- 
passion, his  grasp  of  the  spiritual  and  the  un- 
seen, his  feet  stood  foursquare  upon  rock.  He 
was  a  tower  of  wholesomeness  in  the  decadence 
which  his  short  life  spanned.  He  was  no  pe- 
dant, and  no  prig.  Never  poet  cared  so  little 
to  "publish  his  wistfulness  abroad,"  and  here 
was  one  gentle  critic,  at  least,  whose  head  was 
as  clear  as  any  barbarian's  concerning  the 
things  he  would  adore,  and  the  things  he  would 
burn.  He  suffered  indeed,  but  he  won  manifold 
golden  comfort  from  the  mercies  of  God,  from 
human  excellence,  the  arts,  and  the  stretches  of 
meadow,  sky,  and  sea.  Sky  and  sea !  they 
were  sacrament  and  symbol,  meat  and  drink,  to 
him.  To  illustrate  both  his  truth  of  perception 
when  dealing  with  the  mao-Jc  of  the  natural 

o  o 

world  and  his  rapturous  sense  of  union  with  it, 
take  certain  lines,  written  at  Cadgwith  in  1892, 
"  Winds  rush  and  waters  roll " ;  an  Oxford 
poem  of  1889,  "  Going  down  the  forest  side  "  ; 
and  one  (with  its  lovely  opening  anticipation  of 
Tennyson),  dating  from  Falmouth  Harbour,  as 
long  ago  as  1887,  "I  have  passed  over  the 
rough  sea,  And  over  the  white  harbour  bar." 

Surely  no  pity  need  be  wasted  upon  one  who 
resolved  himself  into    so  glorious   a   harmony 


with  all  creation  and  with  the  mysteries  of  our 
mortal  being.  To  be  happy  is  a  feat,  nowa- 
days, nothing  less  than  heroic.  Lionel  John- 
son, after  all  and  in  spite  of  all,  dared  to  be 
happy.  As  he  never  worried  himself  about 
awards,  the  question  of  his  to-morrow's  station 
and  his  measure  of  fame  need  not  obtrude  upon 
a  mere  character-study.  Memorable  and  ex- 
hilarating has  been  the  ten  years'  spectacle  of 
him  in  unexhausted  free  play,  now  with  his 
harp,  now  with  his  blunted  rapier,  under  the 
steady  dominion  of  a  genius  so  wise  and  so 
ripe  that  one  knows  not  where  in  living  com- 
panies to  look  for  its  parallel.  Well  :  may  we 
soon  get  used  to  thinking  of  our  dearest  guild- 
fellow  in  a  safer  City,  where  no  terror  of  defeat 
can  touch  him !  "  And  he  shall  sing  there 
according  to  the  days  of  his  youth,  and  according 
to  the  days  of  his  going  up  out  of  the  land  of 
Egypt r 


(From  The  Atlantic  Monthly, 
December,  1902.) 



To  the  fairest ! 

Then  to  thee 

Consecrate  and  bounden  be, 
Winchester  !  this  verse  of  mine. 
Ah,  that  loveliness  of  thine ! 
To  have  lived  enchaunted  years 
Free  from  sorrows,  free  from  fears, 
Where  thy  Tower's  great  shadow  falls 
Over  those  proud  buttressed  walls  ; 
Whence  a  purpling  glory  pours 
From  high  heaven's  inheritors, 
Throned  within  the  arching  stone  ! 
To  have  wandered,  hushed,  alone, 
Gently  round  thy  fair,  fern-grown 
Chauntry  of  the  Lilies,  lying 
Where  the  soft  night  winds  go  sighing 
Round  thy  Cloisters,  in  moonlight 
Branching  dark,  or  touched  with  white 


Round  old,  chill  aisles,  where  moon-smitten 
Blanches  the  Orate,  written 
Under  each  worn  old-world  face 
Graven  on  Death's  holy  place  ! 

To  the  noblest ! 

None  but  thee. 

Blest  our  living  eyes,  that  see 
Half  a  thonsand  years  fulfilled 
Of  that  age,  which  Wykeham  willed 
Thee  to  win  ;  yet  all  unworn, 
As  upon  that  first  March  morn, 
When  thine  honoured  city  saw 
Thy  young  beauty  without  flaw, 
Born  within  her  water-flowing 
Ancient  hollows,  by  wind-blowing 
Hills  enfolded  ever  more. 
Thee,  that  lord  of  splendid  lore, 
Orient  from  old  Hellas'  shore, 
Grocyn,  had  to  mother :  thee, 
Monumental  majesty 
Of  most  high  philosophy 
Honours,  in  thy  wizard  Browne  : 
Tender  Otway's  dear  renown, 


Mover  of  a  perfect  pity, 
Victim  of  the  iron  city, 
Thine  to  cherish  is:  and  thec 
Laureate  of  Liberty; 
Harper  of  the  Highland  faith, 
Elf,  and  faery,  and  wan  wraith ; 
Chaunting  softly,  chaunting  slowly, 
Minstrel  of  all  melancholy  ; 
Master  of  all  melody, 
Made  to  cling  round  memory ; 
Passion's  poet,  Evening's  voice, 
Collins  glorified.     Rejoice, 
Mother  !  in  thy  sons  :  for  all 
Love  thine  immemorial 
Name,  august  and  musical. 
Not  least  he,  who  left  thy  side, 
For  his  sire's,  thine  earlier  pride, 
Arnold  :  whom  we  mourn  to-day, 
Prince  of  song,  and  gone  away 
To  his  brothers  of  the  bay : 
Thine  the  love  of  all  his  years; 
His  be  now  thy  praising  tears. 


To  the  dearest ! 

Ah,  to  thee ! 

Hast  thou  not  in  all  to  me 
Mother,  more  than  mother,  been  ? 
Well  toward  thee  may  Mary  Queen 
Bend  her  with  a  mother's  mien  ; 
Who  so  rarely  dost  express 
An  inspiring  tenderness, 
Woven  with  thy  sterner  strain, 
Prelude  of  the  world's  true  pain. 
But  two  years,  and  still  my  feet 
Found  thy  very  stones  more  sweet, 
Than  the  richest  fields  elsewhere  : 
Two  years,  and  thy  sacred  air 
Still  poured  balm  upon  me,  when 
Nearer  drew  the  world  of  men ; 
When  the  passions,  one  by  one, 
All  sprang  upward  to  the  sun  ; 
Two  years  have  I  lived,  still  thine : 
Lost,  thy  presence  !  gone,  that  shrine, 
Where  six  years,  what  years  !  were  mine. 
Music  is  the  thought  of  thee  ; 
Fragrance,  all  thy  memory. 
Those  thy  rugged  Chambers  old, 
In  their  gloom  and  rudeness,  hold 


Dear  remembrances  of  gold. 
Some  first  blossoming  of  flowers 
Made  delight  of  all  the  hours  ; 
Greatness,  beauty,  all  things  fair 
Made  the  spirit  of  thine  air : 
Old  years  live  with  thee  ;  thy  sons 
Walk  with  high  companions. 
Then,  the  natural  joy  of  earth, 
Joy  of  very  health  and  birth  ! 
Hills,  upon  a  summer  noon : 
Water  Meads,  on  eves  of  June : 
Chamber  Court,  beneath  the  moon  : 
Days  of  spring,  on  Twyford  Down, 
Or  when  autumn  woods  grew  brown, 
As  they  looked  when  here  came  Keats, 
Chaunting  of  autumnal  sweets; 
Through  this  city  of  old  haunts, 
Murmuring  immortal  chaunts  ; 
As  when  Pope,  art's  earlier  king, 
Here,  a  child,  did  nought  but  sing, 
Sang,  a  child,  by  nature's  rule, 
Round  the  trees  of  Twyford  School : 
Hours  of  sun  beside  Meads'  Wall, 
Ere  the  may  began  to  fall  ; 
Watching  the  rooks  rise  and  soar, 


High  from  lime  and  sycamore: 
Wanderings  by  old-world  ways, 
Walks  and  streets  of  ancient  days  ; 
Closes,  churches,  arches,  halls, 
Vanished  men's  memorials. 
There  was  beauty,  there  was  grace, 
Each  place  was  an  holy  place  : 
There  the  kindly  fates  allowed 
Me  too  room ;  and  made  me  proud, 
(Prouder  name  I  have  not  wist !) 
With  the  name  of  Wykehamist. 
These  thy  joys,  and  more  than  these  : 
Ah,  to  watch  beneath  thy  trees, 
Through  long  twilights  linden-scented, 
Sunsets,  lingering,  lamented, 
In  the  purple  west ;  prevented, 
Ere  they  fell,  by  evening  star  ! 
Ah,  long  nights  of  Winter  !  far 
Leaps  and  roars  the  faggot  fire ; 
Ruddy  smoke  rolls  higher,  higher, 
Broken  through  by  flame's  desire  ; 
Circling  faces  glow,  all  eyes 
Take  the  light ;  deep  radiance  flies, 
Merrily  flushing  overhead 
Names  of  brothers,  long  since  fled, 


And  fresh  clusters,  in  their  stead, 
Jubilant  round  fierce  forest  flame. 
Friendship  too  must  make  her  claim : 
But  what  songs,  what  memories  end, 
When  they  tell  of  friend  on  friend  ? 
And  for  them  I  thank  thy  name. 

Love  alone  of  gifts,  no  shame 
Lessens,  and  I  love  thee  :  yet 
Sound  it  but  of  echoes,  let 
This  my  maiden  music  be 
Of  the  love  I  bear  to  thee, 
Witness  and  interpreter, 
Mother  mine  :  loved  Winchester! 



From  his  Latin  epitaph  in  the  Cloisters  of 
Winchester  College 

Here  lies  John  Chalkhill:  years  two  score 

A  Fellow  here,  and  then,  no  more ! 

Long  life  of  chaste  and  sober  mood, 

Of  silence  and  of  solitude ; 

Of  plenteous  alms,  of  plenteous  prayer, 

Of  sanctity  and  inward  care  : 

So  lived  the  Church's  early  fold, 

So  saintly  anchorites  of  old. 

A  little  child,  he  did  begin 

The  Heaven  of  Heavens  by  storm  to  win ; 

At  eighty  years  he  entered  in. 


Over,  the  four  long  years !     And  now  there  rings 
One  voice  of  freedom  and  regret :  Farewell ! 
Now  old  remembrance  sorrows,  and  now  sings : 
But  song  from  sorrow,  now,  I  cannot  tell. 


City  of  weathered  cloister  and  worn  court ; 
Grey  city  of  strong  towers  and  clustering  spires  : 
Where  art's  fresh  loveliness  would  first  resort ; 
Where  lingering  art  kindled  her  latest  fires. 

Where  on  all  hands,  wondrous  with  ancient  grace, 
Grace  touched  with  age,  rise  works  of  goodliest  men: 
Next  Wykeham's  art  obtain  their  splendid  place 
The  zeal  of  Inigo,  the  strength  of  Wren. 

Where  at  each  coign  of  every  antique  street, 

A  memory  hath  taken  root  in  stone  : 

There,  Raleigh  shone  ;  there,  toiled  Franciscan  feet ; 

There,  Johnson  flinched  not,  but  endured,  alone. 

There,  Shelley  dreamed  his  white  Platonic  dreams ; 
There,  classic  Landor  throve  on  Roman  thought ; 
There,  Addison  pursued  his  quiet  themes; 
There,  smiled  Erasmus,  and  there,  Colet  taught. 

And  there,  O  memory  more  sweet  than  all ! 
Lived  he,  whose  eyes  keep  yet  our  passing  light ; 
Whose  crystal  lips  Athenian  speech  recall  ; 
Who  wears  Rome's  purple  with  least  pride,  most  right. 


That  is  the  Oxford  strong  to  charm  us  yet : 
Eternal  in  her  beauty  and  her  past. 
What,  though  her  soul  be  vexed  ?     She  can  forget 
Cares  of  an  hour  :  only  the  great  things  last. 

Only  the  gracious  air,  only  the  charm, 
And  ancient  might  of  true  humanities, 
These,  nor  assault  of  man,  nor  time,  can  harm : 
Not  these,  nor  Oxford  with  her  memories. 

Together  have  we  walked  with  willing  feet 
Gardens  of  plenteous  trees,  bowering  soft  lawn ; 
Hills,  whither  Arnold  wandered  ;  and  all  sweet 
June  meadows,  from  the  troubling  world  withdrawn; 

Chapels  of  cedarn  fragrance,  and  rich  gloom 
Poured  from  empurpled  panes  on  either  hand ; 
Cool  pavements,  carved  with  legends  of  the  tomb ; 
Grave  haunts,  where  we  might  dream,  and  under- 

Over,  the  four  long  years !     And  unknown  powers 
Call  to  us,  going  forth  upon  our  way : 
Ah !     Turn  we,  and  look  back  upon  the  towers 
That  rose  above  our  lives,  and  cheered  the  day. 


Proud  and  serene,  against  the  sky,  they  gleam : 
Proud  and  secure,  upon  the  earth  they  stand : 
Our  city  hath  the  air  of  a  pure  dream, 
And  hers  indeed  is  a  Hesperian  land- 
Think  of  her  so  !     The  wonderful,  the  fair, 
The  immemorial,  and  the  ever  young  : 
The  city  sweet  with  our  forefathers'  care : 
The  city  where  the  Muses  all  have  sung. 

Ill  times  may  be;  she  hath  no  thought  of  time: 
She  reigns  beside  the  waters  yet  in  pride. 
Rude  voices  cry  :  but  in  her  ears  the  chime 
Of  full  sad  bells  brings  back  her  old  springtide. 

Like  to  a  queen  in  pride  of  place,  she  wears 
The  splendour  of  a  crown  in  Radcliffe's  dome. 
Well  fare  she,  well !     As  perfect  beauty  fares, 
And  those  high  places  that  are  beauty's  home. 


The    Classics 

Fain  to  know  golden  things,  fain  to  grow  wise, 
Fain  to  achieve  the  secret  of  fair  souls : 
His  thought,  scarce  other  lore  need  solemnize, 
Whom  Virgil  calms,  whom  Sophocles  controls : 

Whose  conscience  ^Eschylus,  a  warrior  voice, 
Enchaunted  hath  with  majesties  of  doom : 
Whose  melancholy  mood  can  best  rejoice, 
When  Horace  sings,  and  roses  bower  the  tomb  : 

Who,  following  Caesar  unto  death,  discerns 
What  bitter  cause  was  Rome's,  to  mourn  that  day : 
With  austere  Tacitus  for  master,  learns 
The  look  of  empire  in  its  proud  decay: 

Whom  dread  Lucretius  of  the  mighty  line 

Hath  awed,  but  not  borne  down  :  who  loves  the  flame 

That  leaped  within  Catullus  the  divine, 

His  glory,  and  his  beauty,  and  his  shame  : 


Who  dreams  with  Plato  and,  transcending  dreams. 
Mounts  to  the  perfect  City  of  true  God : 
Who  hails  its  marvellous  and  haunting  gleams, 
Treading  the  steady  air  as  Plato  trod  : 

Who  with  Thucydides  pursues  the  way, 
Feeling  the  heart-beats  of  the  ages  gone, 
Till  fall  the  clouds  upon  the  Attic  day, 
And  Syracuse  draw  tears  for  Marathon  : 

To  whom  these  golden  things  best  give  delight : 
The  music  of  most  sad  Simonides ; 
Propertius'  ardent  graces;  and  the  might 
Of  Pindar  chaunting  by  the  olive  trees  : 

Livy,  and  Roman  consuls  purple  swathed ; 
Plutarch,  and  heroes  of  the  ancient  earth  ; 
And  Aristophanes,  whose  laughter  scathed 
The  souls  of  fools,  and  pealed  in  lyric  mirth  : 

^Eolian  rose-leaves  blown  from  Sappho's  isle ; 
Secular  glories  of  Lycean  thought ; 
Sallies  of  Lucian,  bidding  wisdom  smile ; 
Angers  of  Juvenal,  divinely  wrought : 


Pleasant,  and  elegant,  and  garrulous 

Pliny  :  crowned  Marcus,  wistful  and  still  strong ; 

Sicilian  seas  and  their  Theocritus, 

Pastoral  singer  of  the  last  Greek  song  : 

Herodotus,  all  simple  and  all  wise  ; 
Demosthenes,  a  lightning  flame  of  scorn  ; 
The  surge  of  Cicero,  that  never  dies  ; 
And  Homer,  grand  against  the  ancient  morn. 


Walter  Pater 

Gracious  God  rest  him  !  he  who  toiled  so  well 

Secrets  of  grace  to  tell 
Graciously ;  as  the  awed  rejoicing  priest 

Officiates  at  the  feast, 
Knowing  how  deep  within  the  liturgies 

Lie  hid  the  mysteries. 
Half  of  a  passionately  pensive  soul 

He  showed  us,  not  the  whole  : 
Who  loved  him  best,  they  best,  they  only,  knew 

The  deeps  they  might  not  view; 
That  which  was  private  between  God  and  him ; 

To  others,  justly  dim. 
Calm  Oxford  autumns  and  preluding  springs ! 

To  me  your  memory  brings 
Delight  upon  delight,  but  chiefest  one : 

The  thought  of  Oxford's  son, 
Who  gave  me  of  his  welcome  and  his  praise, 

When  white  were  still  my  days ; 


Ere  death  had  left  life  darkling,  nor  had  sent 

Lament  upon  lament: 
Ere  sorrow  told  me  how  I  loved  my  lost, 

And  bade  me  base  love's  cost. 
Scholarship's  constant  saint,  he  kept  her  light 

In  him  divinely  white  : 
With  cloistral  jealousness  of  ardour  strove 

To  guard  her  sacred  grove, 
Inviolate  by  unworldly  feet,  nor  paced 

In  desecrating  haste. 
Oh,  sweet  grave  smiling  of  that  wisdom,  brought 

From  arduous  ways  of  thought ; 
Oh,  golden  patience  of  that  travailing  soul 

So  hungered  for  the  goal, 
And  vowed  to  keep,  through  subtly  vigilant  pain, 

From  pastime  on  the  plain, 
Enamoured  of  the  difficult  mountain  air 

Up  beauty's  Hill  of  Prayer! 
Stern  is  the  faith  of  art,  right  stern,  and  he 

Loved  her  severity. 
Momentous  things  he  prized,  gradual  and  fair 

Births  of  a  passionate  air  : 
Some  austere  setting  of  an  ancient  sun, 

Its  midday  glories  done, 


Over  a  silent  melancholy  sea 

In  sad  serenity : 
Some  delicate  dawning  of  a  new  desire, 

Distilling  fragrant  fire 
On  hearts  of  men  prophetically  fain 

To  feel  earth  young  again : 
Some  strange  rich  passage  of  the  dreaming  earth, 

Fulfilled  with  warmth  and  worth. 
Ended,  his  service :  yet,  albeit  farewell 

Tolls  the  faint  vesper  bell, 
Patient  beneath  his  Oxford  trees  and  towers 

He  still  is  gently  ours  : 
Hierarch  of  the  spirit,  pure  and  strong, 

Worthy  Uranian  song. 
Gracious  God  keep  him  :  and  God  grant  to  me 

By  miracle  to  see 
That  unforgettably  most  gracious  friend, 

In  the  never-ending  end ! 



Now,  on  his  last  of  ways, 

The  great  September  star, 
That  crowned  him  on  the  days 

Of  Worcester  and  Dunbar, 

Shines  through  the  menacing  night  afar. 

This  day  his  England  knows 
Freedom  and  fear  in  one ; 

She  holds  her  breath,  while  goes 
Her  mighty  mastering  son  : 
His  sceptre-sword  its  work  hath  done. 

O  crowning  mercy,  Death  ! 
Peace  to  the  stormy  heart, 

Peace  to  the  passionate  breath, 
And  awful  eyes  :  their  part 
Is  done,  for  thou  their  victor  art ! 


Yet,  is  it  peace  with  him  t 

Answer,  O  Drogheda's  dead ! 
O  ghosts,  beside  the  dim 

Waters  and  shadows  dread  ! 

What  of  his  coming  shall  be  said  ? 

Answer,  O  fatal  King  ! 

Whose  sad  prophetic  eyes 
Foresaw  his  glory  bring 

Thy  death  !     He  also  lies 

Dead :  hath  he  peace,  O  King  of  sighs  ? 

His  soul's  most  secret  thought 

Eternal  Light  declares  : 
He,  who  in  darkness  wrought,' 

To  very  Truth  now  bares 

All  hidden  hopes,  all  deep  despairs. 

Maintains  he  in  Death's  land 

The  quarrel  of  the  Lord, 
As  when  from  his  live  hand 

Leaped  lightnings  of  the  sword  ? 

Is  Come,  good  servant !  his  reward  ? 


Hath  the  word  come,  Well  done  ! 

Or  the  pure  word  of  doom, 
Sending  him  from  the  sun 

To  walk  in  bitter  gloom, 

With  the  lost  angels  of  the  tomb? 

Prince  of  the  iron  rod 

And  war's  imperious  mail, 
Did  he  indeed  for  God 

Fight  ever,  and  prevail, 

Bidding  the  Lord  of  hosts  All  hail  ? 

Or  was  it  ardent  lust 

Of  majesty  and  might, 
That  stung  and  fired  and  thrust 

His  soul  into  the  fight: 

Mystic  desire  and  fierce  delight  ? 

Nay,  peace  for  ever  more ! 
O  martyred  souls  !     He  comes, 

Your  conquered  conqueror : 
No  tramplings  now,  nor  drums, 
Are  his,  who  wrought  your  martyrdoms 


Tragic,  triumphant  form, 
He  comes  to  your  dim  ways, 

Comes  upon  wings  of  storm : 
Greet  him,  with  pardoning  praise, 
With  marvelling  awe,  with  equal  gaze ! 

To  Morfydd 

A  voice  on  the  winds, 
A  voice  by  the  waters, 

Wanders  and  cries : 
Oh  !  what  are  the  winds  ? 
And  what  are  the  waters  ? 

Mine  are  your  eyes  ! 

Western  the  winds  are, 
And  western  the  waters, 

Where  the  light  lies  : 
Oh !  what  are  the  winds  ? 

And  what  are  Hie  waters  ? 
Mine  are  your  eyes  ! 


Cold,  cold,  grow  the  winds, 
And  wild  grow  the  waters, 

Where  the  sun  dies: 
Oh  !  what  are  the  winds  ? 
And  what  are  the  waters  ? 

Mine  are  your  eyes  ! 

And  down  the  night  winds, 
And  down  the  night  waters, 

The  music  flies : 
Oh !  what  are  the  ivinds  ? 
And  what  are  the  waters  ? 
Cold  be  the  winds, 
And  wild  be  the  waters, 

So  mine  be  your  eyes  ! 



My  windows  open  to  the  autumn  night, 

In  vain  I  watched  for  sleep  to  visit  me; 

How  should  sleep  dull  mine  ears,  and  dim  my  sight, 

Who  saw  the  stars,  and  listened  to  the  sea  ? 

Ah,  how  the  City  of  our  God  is  fair! 

If,  without  sea,  and  starless  though  it  be, 

For  joy  of  the  majestic  beauty  there, 

Men  shall  not  miss  the  stars,  nor  mourn  the  sea. 


By  the  Statue  of  King  Charles  at  Charing 

Sombre  and  rich,  the  skies ; 
Great  glooms,  and  starry  plains. 
Gently  the  night  wind  sighs ; 
Else  a  vast  silence  reigns. 

The  splendid  silence  clings 
Around  me  :  and  around 
The  saddest  of  all  kings 
Crowned,  and  again  discrowned. 

Comely  and  calm,  he  rides 
Hard  by  his  own  Whitehall. 
Only  the  night  wind  glides: 
No  crowds,  nor  rebels,  brawl. 


Gone,  too,  his  Court :  and  yet, 
The  stars  his  courtiers  are : 
Stars  in  their  stations  set; 
And  every  wandering  star. 

Alone  he  rides,  alone, 
The  fair  and  fatal  king  : 
Dark  night  is  all  his  own, 
That  strange  and  solemn  thing. 

Which  are  more  full  of  fate  : 
The  stars ;  or  those  sad  eyes  ? 
Which  are  more  still  and  great : 
Those  brows,  or  the  dark  skies  ? 

Although  his  whole  heart  yearn 
In  passionate  tragedy, 
Never  was  face  so  stern 
With  sweet  austerity. 

Vanquished  in  life,  his  death 
By  beauty  made  amends  : 
The  passing  of  his  breath 
Won  his  defeated  ends. 


Brief  life,  and  hapless  ?     Nay : 
Through  death,  life  grew  sublime. 
Speak  after  sentence  ?     Yea  : 
And  to  the  end  of  time. 

Armoured  he  rides,  his  head 
Bare  to  the  stars  of  doom  ; 
He  triumphs  now,  the  dead, 
Beholding  London's  gloom. 

Our  wearier  spirit  faints, 
Vexed  in  the  world's  employ  : 
His  soul  was  of  the  saints; 
And  art  to  him  was  joy. 

King,  tried  in  fires  of  woe  ! 
Men  hunger  for  thy  grace  : 
And  through  the  night  I  go, 
Loving  thy  mournful  face. 

Yet,  when  the  city  sleeps, 
When  all  the  cries  are  still, 
The  stars  and  heavenly  deeps 
Work  out  a  perfect  will. 



Roses  from  Paestan  rosaries ! 
More  goodly  red  and  white  was  she  : 
Her  red  and  white  were  harmonies 
Not  matched  upon  a  Psestan  tree. 

Ivories  blaunched  in  Alban  air  ! 
She  lies  more  purely  blaunched  than  you 
No  Alban  whiteness  doth  she  wear, 
But  death's  perfection  of  that  hue. 

Nay!  now  the  rivalry  is  done, 
Of  red,  and  white,  and  whiter  still  : 
She  hath  a  glory  from  that  sun 
Who  falls  not  from  Olympus  hill. 


In  Falmouth  Harbour 

The  large  calm  harbour  lies  below 
Long  terraced  lines  of  circling  light : 
Without,  the  deep  sea  currents  flow : 
And  here  are  stars,  and  night. 

No  sight,  no  sound,  no  living  stir, 
But  such  as  perfect  the  still  bay : 
So  hushed  it  is,  the  voyager 
Shrinks  at  the  thought  of  day. 

We  glide  by  many  a  lanterned  mast ; 
Our  mournful  horns  blow  wild  to  warn 
Yon  looming  pier :  the  sailors  cast 
Their  ropes,  and  watch  for  morn. 

Strange  murmurs  from  the  sleeping  town, 
And  sudden  creak  of  lonely  oars 
Crossing  the  water,  travel  down 
The  roadstead,  the  dim  shores. 


A  charm  is  on  the  silent  bay; 
Charms  of  the  sea,  charms  of  the  land. 
Memories  of  open  wind  convey 
Peace  to  this  harbour  strand. 

Far  off,  Saint  David's  crags  descend 
On  seas  of  desolate  storm :  and  far 
From  this  pure  rest,  the  Land's  drear  End, 
And  ruining  waters  are. 

Well  was  it  worth  to  have  each  hour 
Of  high  and  perilous  blowing  wind  : 
For  here,  for  now,  deep  peace  hath  power 
To  conquer  the  worn  mind. 

I  have  passed  over  the  rough  sea, 
And  over  the  white  harbour  bar : 
And  this  is  Death's  dreamland  to  me, 
Led  hither  by  a  star. 

And  what  shall  dawn  be  ?     Hush  thee,  nay  ! 
Soft,  soft  is  night,  and  calm  and  still : 
Save  that  day  cometh,  what  of  day 
Knowest  thou  good,  or  ill  ? 


Content  thee  !     Not  the  annulling  light 
Of  any  pitiless  dawn  is  here  ; 
Thou  art  alone  with  ancient  night : 
And  all  the  stars  are  clear. 

Only  the  night  air,  and  the  dream, 
Only  the  far,  sweet-smelling  wave, 
The  stilly  sounds,  the  circling  gleam, 
Are  thine :  and  thine  a  grave. 


They  wrong  with  ignorance  a  royal  choice 
Who  cavil  at  my  loneliness  and  labour : 
For  them,  the  luring  wonder  of  a  voice, 
The  viol's  cry  for  them,  the  harp  and  tabour 

For  me  divine  austerity, 

And  voices  of  philosophy. 


Ah  !  light  imaginations,  that  discern 

No  passion  in  the  citadel  of  passion : 

Their  fancies  lie  on  flowers ;  but  my  thoughts  turn 

To  thoughts  and  things  of  an  eternal  fashion  : 

The  majesty  and  dignity 

Of  everlasting  verity. 

Mine  is  the  sultry  sunset,  when  the  skies 
Tremble  with  strange  intolerable  thunder : 
And  at  the  dead  of  an  hushed  night,  these  eyes 
Draw  down  the  soaring  oracles  winged  with  wonder 

From  the  four  winds  they  come  to  me, 

The  Angels  of  Eternity. 

Men  pity  me  ;  poor  men,  who  pity  me  ! 

Poor  charitable  scornful  souls  of  pity  ! 

I  choose  laborious  loneliness  :  and  ye 

Lead  Love  in  triumph  through  the  dancing  city  : 

While  death  and  darkness  girdle  me, 

I  grope  for  immortality. 


To  the  Dead   of  '98 

God  rest  you,  rest  you,  rest  you,  Ireland's  dead  ! 

Peace  be  upon  you  shed, 
Peace  from  the  Mercy  of  the  Crucified, 

You,  who  for  Ireland  died  ! 
Soft  fall  on  you  the  dews  and  gentle  airs 

Of  interceding  prayers, 
From  lowly  cabins  of  our  ancient  land, 

Yours  yet,  O  sacred  band  ! 
God  rest  you,  rest  you  :  for  the  fight  you  fought 

Was  His  :  the  end  you  sought, 
His;  from  His  altar  fires  you  took  your  flame, 

Hailing  His  Holy  Name. 
Triumphantly  you  gave  yourselves  to  death : 

And  your  last  breath 
Was  one  last  sigh  for  Ireland,  sigh  to  Him, 

As  the  loved  land  grew  dim. 


And,  still  blessed  and  martyr  souls  !  you  pray 

In  the  same  faith  this  day  : 
From  forth  your  dwelling  beyond  sun  and  star, 

Where  only  spirits  are, 
Your  prayers  in  a  perpetual  flight  arise 

To  fold  before  God's  Eyes 
Their  tireless  wings,  and  wait  the  Holy  Word 

That  one  day  shall  be  heard. 
Not  unto  us,  they  plead,  Thy  goodness  gave 

Our  mother  to  unslave ; 
To  us  Thou  gavest  death  for  love  of  her : 

Ah,  what  death  lovelier  ? 
But  to  our  children's  children  give  to  see 

The  perfect  victory  ! 
Thy  dead  beseech  Thee :  to  Thy  living  give 

In  liberty  to  live  f 


To  a  Spanish  Friend 

Exiled  in  America 

From  thine  old  Castilia, 

Son  of  holy  Avila ! 

Leave  thine  endless  tangled  lore, 

As  in  childhood  to  implore 

Her  whose  pleading  evermore 

Pleads  for  her  own  Avila. 

Seraph  saint,  Teresa  burns 

Before  God,  and  burning  turns 

To  the  furnace,  whence  she  learns 

How  the  Sun  of  Love  is  lit : 

She  the  Sunflower  following  it. 

O  fair  ardour  infinite  : 

Fire,  for  which  the  cold  soul  yearns  ! 

Clad  in  everlasting  fire, 
Flame  of  one  long,  lone  desire, 
Surely  thou  too  shalt  aspire 


Up  by  Carmel's  bitter  road: 
Love  thy  goal  and  love  thy  goad, 
Love  thy  lightness  and  thy  load, 
Love  thy  rose  and  love  thy  briar. 

Leave  the  false  light,  leave  the  vain : 
Lose  thyself  in  Night  again, 
Night  divine  of  perfect  pain. 
Lose  thyself  and  find  thy  God, 
Through  a  prostrate  period  ; 
Bruise  thee  with  an  iron  rod  ; 
Suffer,  till  thyself  be  slain. 

Fly  thou  from  the  dazzling  day, 
For  it  lights  the  downward  way  : 
In  the  sacred  Darkness  pray, 
Till  prayer  cease,  or  seem  to  thee 
Agony  of  ecstasy  : 
Dead  to  all  men,  dear  to  me, 
Live  as  saints,  and  die  as  they. 

Stones  and  thorns  shall  tear  and  sting, 
Each  stern  step  its  passion  bring, 
On  the  Way  of  Perfecting, 


On  the  Fourfold  Way  of  Prayer  : 
Heed  not,  though  joy  fill  the  air; 
Heed  not,  though  it  breathe  despair: 
In  the  City  thou  shalt  sing. 

Without  hope  and  without  fear, 

Keep  thyself  from  thyself  clear : 

In  the  secret  seventh  sphere 

Of  thy  soul's  hid  Castle,  thou 

At  the  King's  white  throne  shalt  bow 

Light  of  Light  shall  kiss  thy  brow, 

And  all  darkness  disappear. 




Now  hath  Death  dealt  a  generous  violence, 

Calling  thee  swiftly  hence 

By  the  like  instrument  of  instant  fire, 

To  join  thy  heart's  desire, 

Thy  brother,  slain  before  thee ;  but  whom  thou, 

Slain  friend  !  regainest  now. 

True  brother  wast  thou,  whom  from  his  dear  side 

Death  did  not  long  divide. 

How  often,  till  the  golden  stars  grew  dim, 

Our  speech  was  but  of  him, 

Exiled  beneath  those  Afric  stars,  whose  deep 

Radiance  adorns  your  sleep  ! 

Fair  warrior  brothers,  excellently  dead, 

Your  loyal  lifeblood  shed, 

In  death's  gray  distant  land  do  thou  and  he 

Keep  any  mind  of  me, 


Of  old  days  filled  with  laughter  of  delight, 
And  many  a  laughing  night? 
Yes  !  for  although  your  stars  in  storm  have  set, 
Nor  you,  nor  I,  forget : 

Earthward  you  long  and  lean,  earthward :  and  I 
Toward  your  eternity. 

Death  cannot  conquer  all ;  your  love  and  mine 
Lives,  deathlessly  divine. 
You  wait,  I  wait,  a  little  while  we  wait : 
And  then,  the  wide-flung  Gate, 

The  impassioned  Heavens,  the  white-horsed,  white- 
robed  Knights, 

The  chaunting  on  the  heights, 
The  beauty  of  the  Bright  and  Morning  Star! 
Then,  burst  our  prison  bar, 
Shall  we  for  evermore  each  other  see, 
We  three,  we  happy  three, 
Where,  in  the  white  perfection  of  God's  peace, 
Old  love  shall  find  increase. 
In  faith  and  hope  endure  our  hearts  till  then  : 
Amen  !    Amen ! 


A  Friend 

His  are  the  whitenesses  of  soul 
That  Virgil  had :  he  walks  the  earth 
A  classic  saint,  in  self-control, 
And  comeliness,  and  quiet  mirth. 

His  presence  wins  me  to  repose ; 
When  he  is  with  me,  I  forget 
All  heaviness ;  and  when  he  goes, 
The  comfort  of  the  sun  is  set. 

But  in  the  lonely  hours  I  learn, 
How  I  can  serve  and  thank  him  best : 
God !  trouble  him  :  that  he  may  turn 
Through  sorrow  to  the  only  rest. 


Ash  Wednesday 


Memento,  homo,  quia  pulvis  es  ! 
To-day  the  cross  of  ashes  marks  my  brow : 
Yesterday,  laid  to  solemn  sleep  wert  thou, 
O  dear  to  me  of  old,  and  dearer  now ! 
Memento,  homo,  quia  pulvis  es  ! 

Memento,  homo,  quia  pulvis  es  / 
And  all  the  subtile  beauty  of  that  face, 
With  all  its  winning,  all  its  wistful  grace 
Fades  in  the  consecrated  stilly  place  : 
Memento,  homo,  quia  pulvis  es  ! 

Memento,  homo,  quia  pulvis  es  / 

The  visible  vehement  earth  remains  to  me : 

The  visionary  quiet  land  holds  thee  : 

But  what  shall  separate  such  friends  as  we 

Memento,  homo,  quia  pulvis  es  ' 


To  a  Friend 

Sweet,  hard  and  wise,  your  choice  so  early  made, 
To  cast  the  world  away,  a  derelict : 
To  wear  within  the  pure  and  austere  shade 
The  sacred  sable  of  Saint  Benedict. 

I  give  you  praise :  give  me  your  better  prayers. 
The  nothingness,  which  you  have  flung  away, 
To  me  seems  full  of  fond  delightful  cares, 
Visions,  and  dangers  of  the  crowded  day. 

Give  me  your  prayers :  you  keep  no  other  wealth, 
And  therefore  are  the  wealthiest  of  my  friends. 
So  shall  you  lure  me  by  an  holy  stealth 
At  last  into  the  Land  where  wandering  ends. 


The  Age  of  a  Dream 

Imageries  of  dreams  reveal  a  gracious  age  : 
Black  armour,  falling  lace,  and  altar  lights  at  morn. 
The  courtesy  of  Saints,  their  gentleness  and  scorn, 
Lights   on   an    earth   more   fair  than   shone   from 

Plato's  page : 

The  courtesy  of  knights,  fair  calm  and  sacred  rage: 
The  courtesy  of  love,  sorrow  for  love's  sake  borne. 
Vanished,  those  high  conceits !    Desolate  and  forlorn, 
We  hunger  against  hope  for  that  lost  heritage. 

Gone  now,  the  carven  work !     Ruined,  the  golden 

shrine ! 

No  more  the  glorious  organs  pour  their  voice  divine; 
No  more  rich  frankincense  drifts  through  the  Holy 

Now  from  the  broken  tower,  what  solemn  bell  still 

Mourning  what  piteous  death  ?    Answer,  O  saddened 

souls ! 
Who  mourn  the  death  of  beauty  and  the  death  of 



The  Precept  of  Silence 

I  know  you  :  solitary  griefs, 
Desolate  passions,  aching  hours ! 
I  know  you  :  tremulous  beliefs, 
Agonised  hopes,  and  ashen  flowers ! 

The  winds  are  sometimes  sad  to  me  ; 
The  starry  spaces,  full  of  fear ; 
Mine  is  the  sorrow  on  the  sea, 
And  mine  the  sigh  of  places  drear. 

Some  players  upon  plaintive  strings 
Publish  their  wistfulness  abroad  : 
I  have  not  spoken  of  these  things, 
Save  to  one  man,  and  unto  God. 


The  Dark  Angel 

Dark  Angel,  with  thine  aching  lust 
To  rid  the  world  of  penitence : 
Malicious  Angel,  who  still  dost 
My  soul  such  subtile  violence ! 

Because  of  thee,  no  thought,  no  thing, 
Abides  for  me  undesecrate  : 
Dark  Angel,  ever  on  the  wing, 
Who  never  reachest  me  too  late  ! 

When  music  sounds,  then  changest  thou 
Its  silvery  to  a  sultry  fire  : 
Nor  will  thine  envious  heart  allow 
Delight  untortured  by  desire. 

Through  thee,  the  gracious  Muses  turn 
To  Furies,  O  mine  Enemy! 
And  all  the  things  of  beauty  burn 
With  flames  of  evil  ecstasy. 


Because  of  thee,  the  land  of  dreams 
Becomes  a  gathering  place  of  fears  : 
Until  tormented  slumber  seems 
One  vehemence  of  useless  tears. 

When  sunlight  glows  upon  the  flowers, 
Or  ripples  down  the  dancing  sea  : 
Thou,  with  thy  troop  of  passionate  powers, 
Beleaguerest,  bewilderest,  me. 

Within  the  breath  of  autumn  woods, 
Within  the  winter  silences  : 
Thy  venomous  spirit  stirs  and  broods, 
O  Master  of  impieties  ! 

The  ardour  of  red  flame  is  thine, 
And  thine  the  steely  soul  of  ice : 
Thou  poisonest  the  fair  design 
Of  nature,  with  unfair  device. 

Apples  of  ashes,  golden  bright ; 
Waters  of  bitterness,  how  sweet ! 
O  banquet  of  a  foul  delight, 
Prepared  by  thee,  dark  Paraclete ! 


Thou  art  the  whisper  in  the  gloom, 
The  hinting  tone,  the  haunting  laugh : 
Thou  art  the  adorner  of  my  tomb, 
The  minstrel  of  mine  epitaph. 

I  fight  thee,  in  the  Holy  Name ! 
Yet  what  thou  dost  is  what  God  saith  : 
Tempter  !  should  I  escape  thy  flame, 
Thou  wilt  have  helped  my  soul  from  Death 

The  second  Death,  that  never  dies, 
That  cannot  die,  when  time  is  dead  : 
Live  Death,  wherein  the  lost  soul  cries, 
Eternally  uncomforted. 

Dark  Angel,  with  thine  aching  lust ! 
Of  two  defeats,  of  two  despairs, 
Less  dread,  a  change  to  drifting  dust, 
Than  thine  eternity  of  cares. 

Do  what  thou  wilt,  thou  shalt  not  so, 
Dark  Angel !  triumph  over  me : 
Lonely,  unto  the  Lone  I  go  ; 
Divine,  to  the  Divinity. 



Visions,  to  sear  with  flame  his  worn  and  haunted  eyes, 
Throng  him:   and  fears  unknown  invest  the  black 

night  hours. 

His  royal  reason  fights  with  undefeated  Powers, 
Armies  of  mad  desires,  legions  of  wanton  lies ; 
His  ears  are  full  of  pain,  because  of  their  fierce  cries: 
Nor  from  his  tended  thoughts,  for  all  their  fruits 

and  flowers, 

Comes  solace :  for  Philosophy  within  her  bowers 
Falls  faint,  and  sick  to  death.     Therefore  Lucretius 


Dead !     And  his  deathless  death  hath  him,  so  still 

and  stark ! 

No  change  upon  the  deep,  no  change  upon  the  earth, 
None  in  the  wastes  of  nature,  the  starred  wilderness, 
Wandering  flames  and  thunders  of  the  shaken  dark, 
Among  the  mountain  heights,  winds  wild  with  stormy 

These  were  before,  and  these  will  be :  no  more,  no  less. 



Not  now  the  rejoicing  face  of  summer  glows 

In  splendour  to  a  blue  and  splendid  sky : 

For  now  hath  died  each  lingering  wild  rose 

Off  tangled  river  banks  :  and  autumn  shows 

Fields  of  red  corn,  that  on  the  downside  lie 

Beneath  a  gentle  mist,  a  golden  haze. 

So  shrouded,  the  red  cornlands  take  an  air 

Trembling  with  warm  wind :  sickle-girt,  forth  fare 

To  gather  in  the  fruit  of  summer  days, 

Harvesting  hinds,  with  swift  arms  brown  and  bare  ; 

Revering  well  toil's  venerable  ways. 

Most  golden  music  is  among  the  corn, 
Played  by  the  winds  wavering  over  it : 
A  murmuring  sound,  as  when  against  the  morn, 
Orient  upon  calm  seas,  their  noise  is  borne 
Innumerably  rippling  and  sunlit. 


Most  golden  music  is  in  either  tide : 
And  this  of  radiant  corn,  before  it  fall, 
Wills  not  that  summer  die  unmusical, 
By  no  rich  surge  of  murmurs  glorified  : 
Nay !  the  fields  rock  and  rustle,  sounding  all 
Praise  of  the  fruitful  earth  on  every  side. 

Good,  through  the  yellow  fields  to  ponder  long  : 

Good,  long  to  meditate  the  stilly  sight. 

Afar  shone  down  a  brazen  sunlight  strong, 

Over  the  harvested  hillside,  along 

The  laboured  meadows,  burning  with  great  light : 

The  air  trembled  with  overflow  of  heat 

In  the  low  valley,  where  no  movement  was 

Of  soft-blown  wind,  ruffling  the  scytheless  grass 

Thick-growing  by  the  waters,  cool  and  sweet ; 

No  swing  of  boughs ;  there  were  no  airs  to  pass 

Caressing  them :  all  winds  failed,  when  all  wheat, 

All  fair  crops  murmuring  their  soft  acclaim, 
Fell,  golden  rank  on  golden  rank,  and  lay 
Ruddily  heaped  along  the  earth  :  the  flame 
Of  delicate  poppies,  rich  and  frail,  became 
Wan  dying  weed  :  convolvulus,  astray 


Out  from  its  hedgerows  far  into  the  field, 
In  clinging  coils  of  leaf  and  tender  bloom, 
Shared  with  the  stalks  it  clung  and  clasped,  their 


So  went  the  work :  so  gave  the  ripened  weald 
Its  fruits  and  pleasant  flowers ;  and  made  a  room, 
Wherein  fresh  winds  might  wave  a  fresh  year's  yield. 

A  Stranger 

Her  face  was  like  sad  things:  was  like  the  lights 

Of  a  great  city,  seen  from  far  off  fields, 

Or  seen  from  sea ;  sad  things,  as  are  the  fires 

Lit  in  a  land  of  furnaces  by  night ; 

Sad  things,  as  are  the  reaches  of  a  stream 

Flowing  beneath  a  golden  moon  alone. 

And  her  clear  voice,  full  of  remembrances. 

Came  like  faint  music  down  the  distant  air. 

As  though  she  had  a  spirit  of  dead  joy 

About  her,  looked  the  sorrow  of  her  ways  : 

If  light  there  be,  the  dark  hills  are  to  climb 

First :  and  if  calm,  far  over  the  long  sea, 


Fallen  from  all  the  world  apart  she  seemed, 

Into  a  silence  and  a  memory. 

What    had    the    thin    hands    done,  that    now  they 


Together  in  such  passion  ?     And  those  eyes, 
What  saw  they  long  ago,  that  now  they  dreamed 
Along  the  busy  streets,  blind  but  to  dreams  ? 
Her  white  lips  mocked  the  world  and  all  therein  : 
She  had  known  more  than  this ;  she  wanted  not 
This,  who  had  known  the  past  so  great  a  thing. 
Moving  about  our  ways,  herself  she  moved 
In  things  done,  years  remembered,  places  gone. 
Lonely,  amid  the  living  crowds,  as  dead, 
She  walked  with  wonderful  and  sad  regard. 
With  us,  her  passing  image  :  but  herself 
Far  over  the  dark  hills  and  the  long  sea. 


Winchester  Close 

Holy  have  been  the  wanderings  here  :  and  here 

The  beauty  hath  been  shown  of  holiness. 

Nine  hundred  years  ago,  Frithstan  the  Saint 

Put  ofl  his  mitre,  in  a  rough  cowl  hiding 

The  snows  of  age  and  care,  to  go  at  eve 

Among  the  quiet  graves  with  orison. 

The  sun  fell,  and  the  gentle  winds  made  stir. 

By  graves,  ah !  by  how  many  graves,  he  went, 

Old  in  war's  day :  then  said  he :  Requiem 

^Eternam  dona  eis,  Domiue  / 

Eternal  rest,  eternal  rest,  O  Lord ! 

Give   thou   these   dead.      The   heart   of    earth,   the 


Of  poor  dead,  lapped  in  earth,  heard  :  slowly  grew 
A  murmur,  and  a  gathering  thunder;  slowly 
Beneath  his  feet  grew  voices  of  the  dead. 
And  faint,  each  voice  :  but  sounding  as  one  sea, 
Together  cried  the  ghostly  multitude, 


Cried  hungrily  to  that  great  prayer:  Amen  / 
Immeasurably  surged  the  Amen  :  till  sank 
Softly  away  the  voices  of  the  dead, 
Softly :  they  slept  in  the  cold  earth  once  more 
The  stilly  sleep,  glad  to  have  cried  that  cry. 
Frithstan's  white  face  thrilled  upward  to  his  God. 

In   Memory  of   M.   B. 

Old  age,  that  dwelt  upon  thy  years 
With  softest  and  with  stateliest  grace, 
Hath  sealed  thine  eyes,  hath  closed  thine  ears, 
And  stilled  the  sweetness  of  thy  face.' 

That  gentle  and  that  gracious  look 
Sleeps  now,  and  wears  a  marble  calm  : 
Death  took  no  more  away,  but  took 
All  cares  away,  and  left  the  balm 


Of  pure  repose  and  peacefulness 
Upon  thy  forehead  touched  by  time  : 
So  shall  I  know  thee,  none  the  less 
Than  earth  unwintered,  come  the  prime. 

Gone,  the  white  snows,  the  lingering  leaves, 
That  once  endeared  the  wintry  days : 
But  the  new  bloom  of  spring  receives 
The  old  love,  and  has  equal  praise. 

Fare  then  thee  well !  in  Winchester 
Sleep  thy  last  fearless  sleep  serene. 
Friends  fail  me  not ;  but  kindlier 
Can  no  friend  be,  than  thou  hast  been. 

The  city  that  we  two  loved  best, 
No  fairer  place  of  sleep  for  thee  ! 
There  lay  thee  down,  and  take  thy  rest, 
And  this  farewell  of  love  from  me. 


A  Proselyte 

Heart  of  magnificent  desire  : 
O  equal  of  the  lordly  sun  ! 
Since  thou  hast  cast  on  me  thy  fire, 
My  cloistral  peace,  so  hardly  won, 
Breaks  from  its  trance : 

One  glance 
From  thee  hath  all  its  joy  undone. 

Of  lonely  quiet  was  my  dream  ; 
Day  gliding  into  fellow  day, 
With  the  mere  motion  of  a  stream  : 
But  now  in  vehement  disarray 
Go  time  and  thought, 

With  passion  kindled  at  thy  ray. 


Heart  of  tumultuary  might, 
O  greater  than  the  mountain  flame, 
That  leaps  upon  the  fearful  night ! 
On  me  thy  devastation  came 
Sudden  and  swift, 

A  gift 
Of  joyous  torment  without  name. 

Thy  spirit  stings  my  spirit :  thou 
Takest  by  storm  and  ecstasy 
The  cloister  of  my  soul.     And  now, 
With  ardour  that  is  agony, 
I  do  thy  will; 
Yet  still 
Hear  voices  of  calm  memory. 

NOTE.  — The  Editors  of  the  Academy  and  the  Outlook  are  thanked 
for  permission  to  reprint  certain  poems  in  this  collection.  Miss 
L.  I.  Guiney  is  not  responsible  for  the  selection. 


A    001  289  757    5 


Crown  8vo,     BY  LIONEL  JOHNSON  6s.  net. 


"  Lionel  Johnson  was  not  a  critic  with  a  gospel,  and  therefore,  if 
he  had  a  less  important  influence  on  his  own  generation  than 
a  Matthew  Arnold,  there  is  less  likelihood  of  his  criticism  growing 
out  of  date,  out  of  fashion.  His  mind  did  not  flame  or  flash ;  it 
glowed  with  a  steady  light — the  '  pure  flame,'  the  '  clear  flame '  of 
the  taper  of  '  Plato  in  London.'  To  read  him  ...  is  to  experience 
the  soothing,  the  consoling  effect  of  a  peculiar  kind  of  rich  fragrance 
which  his  own  rich  mind  gently  disengages  from  great  writers. 
Without  Pater's  sensibility  and  acuteness,  he  does  employ  himself 
like  Pater,  in  refining,  distinguishing,  disengaging  the  peculiar 
quality  of  his  subject,  and  enriching  it  with  the  qualities  of  his  own 
mind/'— Times  Literary  Supplement. 

"The  critic  who  ranges  over  the  provinces  of  letters  may  rejoice 
to  know  that  he  has  very  wide  boundaries.  Happy  is  he  if,  as  he 
wanders,  he  has  so  sure  a  step,  so  unfailing  a  knowledge,  as  we  see 
in  the  author  of  the  papers  here  collected." — Spectator. 

"Outside  the  'Vie  Litteraire'  of  Anatole  France,  I  have  known 
no  finer  examples  than  these  essays  of  that  rare  kind  of  journalism 
which  is  also  literature,  being  written  with  personality,  delight,  and 
passion." — Mr.  H.  W.  NEVINSON,  in  The  Nation. 

"Turning  over  the  pages  and  lighting  upon  many  remembered 
and  memorable  reviews,  what  strikes  one  most  is  the  extraordinary 
maturity  and  firmness  of  the  literary  style.  ,  .  .  Directly  Johnson 
fell  under  the  influence  of  Pater,  his  style  ripened  and  flowered  at 
once." — Mr.  ARTHUR  WAUGH  in  the  Daily  Chronicle. 

"There  are  crisp  little  sentences  of  insight  on  almost  every 
page.  .  .  .  Here  was  a  fine,  young,  eager  mind,  swift- thinking, 
alert,  which  expressed  itself  in  many  ways  that  are  too  valuable  and 
suggestive  to  be  lost." — Academy. 

"  These  essays  are  packed  with  evidence  of  his  wide  reading,  his 
sensitive  taste,  and  his  infallible  preferences  for  the  first-rate  and 
the  permanent  in  literature  and  art." — Daily  Telegraph. 

"These  essays  could  stand  at  their  ease  on  the  shelf  by  the 
'  Causeries '  of  Anatole  France  and  St.  Beuve,  as  a  man  stands  at 
ease  among  his  peers." — The  Observer. 

"A  shining  rectitude  lies  on  all  these  pages,  and  a  noble  quiet  ; 
the  reader  walks  unwearied  in  the  high,  clear,  windless  atmosphere 
of  reverie." — The  Manchester  Guardian. 

"  Johnson  is  superB.  Such  a  critic  who  feels  and  writes  from  the 
heart  lives  when  twenty  critical  Macaulays  are  forgotten." — The 
New  Age.